On Thursday, we had our appointment with the Neuro-Oncologist and had lab work done to check Travis’ counts. The good news is that most of his counts are stabilizing after the chemo and we did not need to do a transfusion. The White Blood Count is slowly rising but still has a ways to go to be considered in the “normal” range. So, they want to continue to have his blood checked weekly and we will continue to take precautions against infections (like wearing a mask in public which Travis does not like). The even better news is that our Doctor is very pleased with Travis’ overall response to the full treatment of Surgery, Proton Radiation and Chemotherapy. In addition to the latest MRI looking very good, Dr. Crawford says that Travis is within the top 5 percent of all of his neuro-oncology patients and he is doing great. He said that the main effects from the chemo should be wearing off in weeks and the smaller effects, like the neuropathy in his feet, could take 2-3 months. At this point, we are in the Test and Monitor phase which is awesome news that hasn’t quite sunk in all the way.
On the surgical recovery from having Travis’ port removed, after spending several days tediously changing his wound dressing, we have learned that Gauze is not necessarily your friend, especially when it sticks to the wound. We have discovered that Tefla Pads are much more cooperative since they are “NON STICK” which would have been nice to know at the beginning. One day, Lynne spent 3 hours removing the gauze strand by strand and still did not get everything off. The next day, Travis had to sit in the bathtub while she drizzled warm water over the area and simultaneously picked the remaining strands out. Very traumatic! Thank God Lynne has the Patience of Job and Travis is a Warrior!
Travis is not a complainer by any means and usually just goes about dealing with everything with such a positive attitude. But like everyone, we have our good days and our not so good days and Sunday morning was one of the rougher days. Maybe he was just tired from staying up late for our Saturday Movie Night or still traumatized from the wound dressing fiasco. Who knows? We had to wake him up so that we could go to church and he told us he was not going. He was tired, he didn’t want to wear his mask, and everything was going wrong. Fast forwarding over the drama and with a lot of coaxing, we finally made it to church. As we walked in, Father Kelly asked how Travis was doing and Father Don said hi too. We sat way in the back to help stay away from any germs. One of the Eucharistic Ministers was sitting behind us and immediately asked how Travis was doing. She said that her Wednesday Bible Study group prays for Travis every week and she was thrilled that she had some news to go back and report to the group. A couple minutes later, another one of the Eucharistic Ministers, Angie, came right up to us and asked if she could pray over Travis. So, we all laid hands on him and she said the most beautiful healing prayer that just flowed right off her lips as if it was coming directly from God. Then she brought over some healing oil that had been blessed. Wow! By this point, Travis was back to his normal happy self and didn’t even care about wearing his mask. After church, we stayed to have a donut out front and another couple came up to us and told us their MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group had been praying for Travis each week even though they didn’t really know his name. They told us that so many people we don’t even know are praying for and supporting us. Again, Wow! As we left church, we reflected back on how all of these people would choose this particular time to do or say something to Travis. How did they all know this had been such a challenging morning and their prayers, kind gestures and words of encouragement were just what we needed? A Little Divine Intervention!
On Monday, we met with the Surgeon and he said that Travis’ port area is healing up great. It must be all of that special wound care and prayers he has been receiving. Since he had to do the extra stitching to help get the wound to stay closed, he said if the scarring is too bad when it heals, he would be glad to “touch it up” later on for Travis which was very cool.
Well, sorry for the length of this update…it has been a busy and blessed week!
Tony and Lynne